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read by everybody. The surplus for the three years end-
ing June 30, 1887, after meeting all the requirements of
the government, interest on the war debt, and the pro-
visions of the sinking fund, was $122,833,130.22. For
the five months ending December i, 1887, said President
Cleveland, the excess was $55,258,701.11. Manifestly he
had been studying President Arthur and Secretary of the
Treasury Folger's recommendations as detailed in a pre-
vious chapter.^

The surplus had in part been used in retiring the three
per cent bonds which were payable at the option of the
government. But on the 30th of June, 1887, all of these
had been redeemed, and since then and prior to December
I of that year, $27,684,283.55 had been expended in the
purchase of government bonds not yet due, bearing four
and four and one-half per cent interest, the premium paid
averaging about twenty-four per cent for the former and
four per cent for the latter. The surplus for the fiscal
year ending June 30, 1888, Mr. Cleveland estimated at
$113,000,000.

Clear it was, argued Mr. Cleveland, as President Arthur
had predicted, that the present revenue would create a
surplus that when due in 1891 would liquidate the four
and one-half per cent bonds amounting to $250,000,000,
and before the four per cents amounting to $737,000,000
matured in 1907 the money would be in the Treasury to

1 See page 498.



EVENTS PRIOR TO 18 88 CONVENTION 563

redeem them. The danger was shown of the government
collecting more revenue than it needed, the iniquity of
placing government money in the banks in order to get
it back in the hands of the people, and the necessity of
entirely divorcing the government from private business.
''But the tax on tobacco and spiritous and malt liquors
should he retained."

Naturally Mr. Cleveland formulated the phrases, "It
is a condition which confronts us, not a theory." That
he was no free trader the following will suffice to show:

It is not proposed entirely to relieve the country of this tax-
ation. It must be extensiveh" continued as the source of the
government income; and in a readjustment of our tariff the
interests of American labor engaged in manufacture should be
carefully considered, as well as the preserv^ation of our manu-
facturers. It may be called protection, or by any other name,
but relief from the hardships and dangers of our present tariff
laws should be devised, with special precaution against imperiling
the existence of our manufacturing interests. But this existence
should not mean a condition which, without regard to the public
welfare or a national exigency, must always insure the realization
of immense profits instead of luoderately profitable returns.

To the "infant industries" of one hundred years' growth
there were sarcastic allusions. The combinations and the
trusts which were formed to prevent the domestic com-
petition which it had been urged would follow a protec-
tive tariff, were justly condemned and pointed to as "proof
that some one is willing to accept lower prices, and that
such prices are remunerative."

Then Mr. Cleveland argued in favor of free raw mate-
rials for the manufacturers, and urged taking the tariff
off wool. With great force, but without the address and
skill of Arthur and Folger, the President demanded a reduc-
tion of the customs duties. Said he: "Our present tariff
laws, the vicious, inequitable, and illogical source of unnec-
essary taxation, ought to be at once revised and amended."



564 LIFE OF WALTER QUINTIN GRESHAM

When passed these tariff laws were not vicious, inequitable,
illogical, and unnecessary. This sentence was used in
many quarters to revive the old war spirit. "Exactly
the expression of a man who hired a substitute during the
war and who went fishing on Decoration Day," said the
"Tariff Barons," and promptly the soldier element took
up the Cxy. A deft advocate would not have so denounced
the war tariff.

Arthur and Folger had handled the subject in such a
way that the tariff barons, the combiners, the trust mag-
nates, and even Mr. Blaine, for a time, assented to their
conclusion — reduce the tariff duties.

It has since been claimed by many Democrats that it
was the right message but at the wrong time. It should
have come earlier, in order to have given time to meet
the falsehoods and misrepresentations of the new order of
protectionists. The Democratic party at that time was
disorganized to a large extent over the distribution of
patronage. The message undoubtedly drew the attention
of Cleveland's party and the country from the squabbles
over the offices and centered the public mind on the then
one great question before the country, the revision of the
tariff.

The day following the appearance of the message, Mr.
Blaine in an interview at London answered Cleveland's
arguments for a revision of the tariff. In this interview
Mr. Blaine denounced President Cleveland as a free trader
and, going beyond the Republican platform of 1884, advo-
cated higher protection than had ever before been advanced
in this country. For the first time was it suggested that
the tax on whiskey and tobacco be removed so that the
manufacturers might have more protection. This inter-
view came by cable and went broadcast over the land.
Every newspaper published it on the front page, with head-
lines to attract attention. It was as universally read as
had been the message the day before.



EVENTS PRIOR TO 1888 CONVENTION 565

Simultaneously with this famous interview there ap-
peared in the Chicago Tribune a leading editorial by Joseph
Medill in which he took strong ground in support of Mr.
Cleveland's message. The editorial was written and Mr.
Medill had gone home before Mr. Blaine's interview was
put on the wires.

Joseph Medill was then sixty-seven years of age. He
was the last of the great editors who had contributed so
much to the development and advancement of the principles
of the Republican party. Born in Ohio and educated for
the law, he early turned to journalism, moved to Chicago
in the early fifties, and became associated with the Chicago
Tribune. In a knowledge of economics, finance, and the
tariff, the principles and history of free government, and
in what is called force, he was the peer of any man the
nation had produced. Versed in all the ways and acts of
the public man, he was a statesman in all save that his
first allegiance was due to the great and prosperous news-
paper property he had built up. At times this made him
timid. He was one of the leaders in the movement to
nominate Mr. Lincoln. In 1886 I had heard him tell the
same story I had heard from Judge Davis's lips, how in
i860, in order to secure Mr. Lincoln's nomination, they
had promised all the cabinet and other executive offices,
and how Mr. Lincoln carried out all their agreements,
although protesting that they had left nothing for him.
But one phase of the story was distinctly Joseph Medill,
and as it has never been in print I will tell it here:

After the convention adjourned on the second day before a
ballot, while Thurlow Weed was leading a street parade for
Seward, we went to the Pennsylvania delegation and made a
deal whereby Simon Cameron, Pennsylvania's choice, would
be withdrawn after a complimentary ballot, the vote of Penn-
sylvania cast for Mr. Lincoln, and in the event of Mr.
Lincoln's election Simon Cameron would be made Secretary
of War. The next day, when the convention met, my anxiety



566 LIFE OF WALTER QUINTIN GRESHAM

was great, for Pennsylvania was the trump card in the deck. It
became intense after the first ballot when the chairman of the
Pennsylvania delegation asked that Pennsylvania might retire
for a consultation. By the time Pennsylvania was reached on the
second roll call her delegation had returned, and the chairman
announced in a beautiful speech that, having sought divine guid-
ance, Mr. Cameron's name was withdrawn and Pennsylvania's
vote was cast for Mr. Lincoln. And yet we had bought them
the night before.

The sentence. "And yet we had bought them the night
before," made a profound impression on my husband.
How much it had to do with his subsequent career the
following pages w411 disclose.

Mrs. Medill was a charming, accomplished woman, and
one of the ablest I ever knew. A few days after the joint
appearance of Mr. Blaine's interview on the President's
message and Mr. Medill's editorial, Mrs. Medill told me
that when they read Mr. Blaine's interview in the Tribune
together with Mr. Medill's editorial, "Mr. Medill became
very much concerned as to what would be the effect on the
circulation and the popularity of the Tribune, but after
thinking it over he determined to stand by his guns. "And
great was and is our surprise and gratification to find,"
she added, "that the stand that Mr. Medill had taken is
popular. The ground swell from the country and the
country press are with us." Walker Blaine and Emmons
Blaine, both of whom were then living in Chicago, and were
representatives and emissaries for their father in the Blaine
movement, she said, "were very much concerned at Mr.
Medill's attitude, and had endeavored to induce him to
modify his position on the tariff, but they were unable to
do so."

The Chicago Tribune had been the only newspaper in
Chicago that had been supporting Blaine. The out-and-
out Blaine boomers at once became very bitter toward
Joseph Medill, and denounced him as a free trader of



EVENTS PRIOR TO IS 88 CONVENTION 567

the Grover Cleveland school. He retorted in kind. "The
mill bosses," "the trust leaders," the railroad wreckers,
and the Jay Goulds were scored, while much was said in
leading editorials about the messages of President Arthur,
Secretary Folger, the Republican platform of 1884, and the
protectionism of Henry Clay, which was not that of war
taxes in time of peace. This state of affairs could not con-
tinue indefinitely.

On February 12, 1888, B. F. Jones of Pittsburgh and
of the iron interests, chairman of the Republican National
Committee, gave out a letter he had received from Mr.
Blaine. This letter was written from Florence, Italy, un-
der date of January' 25, 1888, and in it Mr. Blaine stated
he would not again be a candidate for the Presidency.
The retirement of Mr. Blaine, said the Tribune, left only
one avowed candidate, the Honorable John Sherman.
But the great mass of the Blaine leaders, and the men who
were receiving undue benefits from the war tariffs, refused
to accept Mr. Blaine's letter as final. Nor did the Tribune
make a formal renunciation of Mr. Blaine.

In a way, some time before this time, Mr. Gresham
had developed what is called a "potential Presidential
boom." Most of the old Arthur followers had turned to
him. Church Howe, one of the Arthur delegates from
Nebraska in 1884, made public the statement that Arthur
had told him in 1884 that if he, Arthur, could not get the
nomination, he wanted Gresham to have it.

Mr. Blaine's withdrawal brought forth a number of
candidates. General Harrison was one of these. He had
been a Blaine man, and so long as Mr. Blaine was in the
attitude of a candidate. General Harrison would not antag-
onize him. Senator John Sherman of Ohio said he had
been waiting for Blaine's letter of decHnation which he
knew would come, and at once he was an active candi-
date. Senator Allison of Iowa, William Walter Phelps of
New Jersey, Governor Russell A. Alger of Michigan and



568 LIFE OF WALTER QUINTIN GRESHAM

of the Diamond Match Company, and Chauncey M.
Depew of New York, the president of the New York Cen-
tral Railroad, were put forward, the last two as business
men's candidates. The old Grant guard had forgiven
Walter Q. Gresham his support of Bristow and were almost
kindly disposed, while the independents and the indepen-
dent press were too cordial in his praise to suit many of the
Blaine men and the "machine" leaders. It was the inde-
pendent press and the independents, the "Mugwumps,"
who had defeated Mr. Blaine.

Many favorable notices of Judge Gresham had ap-
peared in the Chicago Tribune before President Cleveland's
message. Suddenly, February 22, 1888, it changed from
Blaine to Gresham. The movement took like wildfire, if the
press notices are any criterion. The Chicago Inter Ocean,
the old Grant paper, joined in. To an objection of one of
the Tribune's oldest Blaine readers that it was going to the
support of a man who had not only supported General
Grant for a third term, but who also had the indorsement
of the Inter Ocean, the Tribune said its opposition to a third
term did not extend to proscribing those who had favored
General Grant for a third term, and as to the Inter Ocean,
it could fight it on some other issue than Gresham.

Anticipating Mr. Blaine's withdrawal. General Harri-
son's friends, who controlled the machine in Indiana,
went actively to work to secure the delegates from that
State to the convention which the Republican National
Committee had, late in December, called to meet in Chi-
cago June 18, 1888. James N. Huston of Connersville was
reelected chairman of the Indiana State Central Committee
and one of the delegates-at-large from the State to the
National convention; Colonel Richard W. Thompson, then
almost in his dotage, Clement Studebaker, the manu-
facturer, of South Bend, and one of the Grant 306 of 1880,
and ex-Governor Albert G. Porter of Indiana, made up the
other three delegates-at-large from Indiana.



EVENTS PRIOR TO ISSS CONVENTION 569

Governor Porter was then in the full vigor of life. He
was opposed to General Harrison's nomination, although
they had been law partners years before. Porter was a
"dark horse," for Porter first, Gresham second, and almost
anybody rather than Harrison. The Harrison leaders knew
this and wished to prevent Governor Porter from going
as a delegate to the convention "to pose as a Garfield
candidate," but they could not do so. All that could be
done was to instruct him to vote for General Harrison's
nomination with other delegates-at-large and the delegates
elected in all the districts except one. Some of Porter's
friends posed as Gresham men; others as Harrison men.
Those who were in the inner circle secretly took to Chicago
a carload of Porter lithographs ready to placard the town
in the event that Porter should be nominated.

Many of the district delegates were Gresham men, and
all except two or three, possibly only one, Elijah W. Halford,
editor of the Indianapolis Journal, were willing to vote for
Gresham. Mr. Halford and John C. New, the owner of
the Indianapolis Journal, and the member of the Repub-
lican National Committee from Indiana, were personally
and bitterly opposed to Judge Gresham. Before the
delegates were elected, Mr. New in public interviews said
Gresham was a free trader, that he had voted for Tilden in
1876, and had refused to vote for Blaine in 1884. James
Gordon Bennett by telegram tendered the columns of the
New York Herald in answer to Mr. New. Mr. Gresham
promptly assured Mr. Bennett that while he would make
no public statement, he was not a candidate and would
not be in the sense the term is used, but the courteous
offer required an answer and he would say, Mr. New's
statements were untrue. Then the Chicago Tribune stated
on its first page that Mr. New's hostility to Mr. Gresham
dated from the time Judge Gresham instructed the Federal
grand jury, regardless of orders from Washington to desist,
to investigate the failure of the First National Bank of



570 LIFE OF WALTER QUINTIN GRESHAM

Indianapolis, of which Mr. New had been president. The
instructions to that grand jury have already been discussed.

The Chicago Tribune's attacks, supplemented by the work
of Charles W. Fairbanks, who' had taken charge of the
Gresham boom in Indiana, for a time silenced New's and
Halford's mendacious st^ements. Their bitterness was in-
creased by the fight that three young lawyers, Joseph B.
Kealing, Martin M. Hugg, and A. W. Wishard made against
Mr. Halford's election as a delegate to the National con-
vention from the Indianapolis District. Some time before,
the Journal had locked out its union printers. The young
la\vyers said it would never do to elect the editor of "a rat
shop" to represent the party of human freedom in a National
convention. Mr. Halford barely squeezed through after an
awful rumpus had been stirred up which was not finally
settled, and then only j^artially, until late in the campaign
when General Harrison, as the candidate of his party, and
the Republican National Committee forced Mr. New to
"unionize" his shop.

John W. Foster, in December, 1884, had rCvSigned his
place as Minister to Spain and resumed his position as
counsel for the Mexican Legation in Washington. Other
business came to him of this kind, such as counsel for the
Chinese Legation and for the life insurance companies in
their international relations, so he remained in Washington
but retained his residence at Evansville, Indiana. He
wrote Gresham editorials for the Evansville Journal and
helped Charles W. Fairbanks manage the Gresham boom.
Adept in the arts and ways of the diplomat, deprecating
the strife and contention between Gresham and Harrison,
he caused an account of General Harrison's opposition to
the exclusion of the Chinese from this country to be pub-
lished in the New York Herald. It was copied all over
the country and seemed, some of the practical men said,
to remove General Harrison from the list, for one of
the strongest planks in Mr. Blaine's platform was his



EVENTS PRIOR TO 18 8 8 CONVENTION 571

opposition to Chinese immigration. Whence came this
bomb the Harrison people never knew.

Mr. Fairbanks stayed until the last roll call, but Mr.
Foster, being a diplomat, before the convention met asked
for his release and got it.

Stephen B. Elkins of the Confederate "Bushwhackers"
of Missouri, then of New Mexico and of New York and not
long before of West Virginia, one of the original Blaine
men, after the exposure of General Harrison's pro-Chinese
record renewed his insistence that Blaine should be nomi-
nated. "But if it is not Blaine, it will be the field against
Gresham," Mr. Elkins said.

Since Gresham was the antithesis of Blaine on the
method of reducing the surplus and almost all other details
of the administration of public affairs, there was nothing
else for his supporters to do but to antagonize the Blaine
propaganda.

Certain it is that had Judge Gresham been nominated
and elected President in 1888, he was" not under even an
implied promise to make Mr. Blaine what the latter said
was the real ambition of his life — Secretary of State.

May 16, 1888, Colonel R. G. IngersoU wrote Judge
Gresham from his residence in New York:

I was in Washington yesterday. I had a long conversation
with Boutelle [a member of Congress from Maine], Blaine's right-
hand man, and I told him that Blaine could not be elected ; that
his friends would be cool and his enemies hot, and if he was
nominated, after his letter, he would be the worst beaten candi-
date that ever ran. I am satisfied that he thinks so too. The
friends of Blaine are going to make all they can out of the corpse-
Blaine will do the best he can with the winner. You know
him perfectly and remember what he wanted to do with 3'ou when
you were in Arthur's cabinet. I want you to win now.'

When Colonel IngersoU got to Chicago and the situation
was laid before him, he supported Judge Gresham in the
latter's determination not to make that or any other pledge.

1 See page 493.



572 LIFE OF WALTER QUINTIN GRESHAM

Mr. Gresham told the Colonel that he could have the
nomination if he would agree to make Piatt Secretary of
the Treasury, but he did not want to do so. "Bob" said,
"Don't do it. I will go down with you."

It was assumed as to all the other gentlemen who were
voted for in the '88 Convention, avowed as to some, that
in the event of election Mr. Blaine would be Secretary
of State. Soon after he became a member of General
Harrison's cabinet in 1891, Mr. Elkins admitted that after
the split between "Old Joe" Medill and Mr. Blaine on the
tariff, at a conference of Blaine men in December, 1887, in
New York, one of them produced a letter from General
Harrison in which he said if he were nominated and elected
President he would make Mr. Blaine Secretary of State.
This letter, Whitelaw Reid and Mr. Elkins, through Gail
Hamilton, Mrs. Blaine's sister, sent to Mrs. Blaine. We
make this statement not by way of criticism of General
Harrison. For twelve years he had supported Mr. Blaine
for the Presidency; why, then, should he hesitate to say he
would make Blaine Secretary of State in the event that he.
General Hamson, should become President?

The "Mugwump" or independent opposition to Mr.
Blaine is best illustrated by what John H. Holliday, the
"Mugwump" or independent editor of the Indianapolis
News, said in his paper on March 5, i88q, on the cabinet
as sent to the Senate the day before:

Had it been a plain and understood fact any time before the
election that Mr. Blaine would be the Secretary of State, General
Harrison would have failed to carry Indiana and New York
and would have been defeated. In surrendering to him General
Harrison has surrendered to the party's worst elements, and
done that which there was the strongest pre-election faith among
other elements he would not do.

And when it came to pledges, there was one man more
powerful than James G. Blaine in the 1888 Convention —
ex-Senator Thomas C. Piatt of New York.



EVENTS PRIOR TO IS 8 8 CONVENTION 573

So hard did the Chicago Tribune continue to controvert
the proposition for free whiskey and tobacco, which Chaun-
cey Depew had defended at the February 2 2d celebration
befo/e the Chicago Union League Club, and so hard did it
press the Blaine people, "the trusts "and "mill bosses,"
that some of the latter made overtures to Judge Gresham
to disavow Joseph Medill and the Tribune. His reply was
that he would never stand for a higher tariff than that of
1884, would never depart from his sub-treasury speech of
1884, and that he would make no such request of Mr. Medill.
To Mr. Medill he said, "Throw the shot into them."

Here we may be permitted to anticipate and to remark
that a man who could drive the leader of his party from the
lists should not have hesitated "to walk out when the trusts
and mill bosses" seized his pen and in convention assembled
wrote his platform, especially as his new candidate would
lead the bolt.

Frank Hatton — as he was universally called — who
succeeded my husband as Postmaster-General, soon after
the close of the Arthur administration came to Chicago as
editor of the Evening Mail. Mr. Hatton had been the first
assistant postmaster-general while my husband was at the
head of the department. Never a fair critic of Mr. Blaine,
and one of the original Grant men, Frank Hatton was very
bright, and aggressive as a terrier. His autobiography was
typical of the man. "He had graduated from a printer's
devil in a small town in Ohio into the army when a mere
boy, came back with a commission, started to edit the
weekly paper at Mount Pleasant, Iowa, married Sally
Snyder, and then with "Bob" Burdett made the 5Mr//wg^0M-
Hawkcye famous." Mrs. Hatton was a most agreeable
woman. She, her husband, and their young son, Dick,
were our neighbors and friends on the North Side in Chi-
cago, in 1885-1886-1887. Of course the Mail was a bright
paper. It ran the Wabash decision in full, and in its
editorials made great sport of Jay Gould and of his friend



574 LIFE OF WALTER QUINTIN ORE SHAM

Judge Gresham. After a time Mr. Hatton sold out his
interest in the Mail and moved to New York. In the
Spring of 1888 he turned up at Chicago as the forerunner
and manager of the movement to nominate John Sherman.
This in no wise interfered with our cordial relations. On
the contrary, it brought us much information of the move-
ment behind the scenes. In the practical politics of a
National convention Frank Hatton was an adept. Mr.
Hatton said:

There are more men, more newspapers, and -more newspaper
men in the United States for Gresham than ever were for Blaine,
but with Old Joe Mcdill hammering away at Blaine and the new
tariff propaganda, the "dyed in the wool" Blaine men will never
permit Gresham to be nominated, so John vSherman must be the
man.

Most of the Southern delegates were captured by
Senator John Sherman. The expenses of electing them
and of their transportation were borne by Mr. Sherman.
But no sooner had they reached Chicago than General



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